Love him or hate him, it’s difficult for any comic book fan to deny that Batman has absolute top-tier villains. When creating the long list of nemeses for the nocturnal vigilante to face, Batman creators really didn’t hold back. In many cases, Batman’s enemies are far more interesting than Batman himself.
A psychopath who has no superhuman powers but wears clown paint and runs a crime syndicate of untold numbers? Yeah, that’s in there. A woman with fluorescent red hair who can control plants and uses them to carry out her nefarious plans? Yep, Batman has that too.
From Joker to Riddler to Bane to Scarecrow, the list of iconic Batman villains goes on. And behind every unforgettable villain is an equally legendary actor (in the film and TV versions of the comic book adventures, of course).
Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken, and Jim Carrey all played Batman villains at one point in their careers. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger stamped his name in the Batman history books with his role as Mr. Freeze in the 1997 film Batman & Robin.
Back in the ’60s, there was one actor so perfect for a Batman villain it’s almost painful. Sadly, however, due to the cancellation of the Batman series running at the time, the role fell through. That almost-Batman star? Clint Eastwood.
Clint Eastwood Almost Played Two-Face on ‘Batman’ (1966)
In 1966, Batman aired on ABC, a live-action television series based on the DC comic books starring Adam West as the masked hero. Twice a week, viewers were treated to the newest adventures of Batman in his never-ending quest to rid Gotham City of its despicable villains.
Unlike more recent additions to the franchise, the ’60s show maintained a family-friendly tone. While the show intended to entertain its viewers, it also took a more virtuous approach to Batman’s typically morally ambiguous approach to crime fighting.
As such, they initially deemed the horrifying Batman villain, Two-Face, too gruesome for the show. After two seasons, however, ratings began to dwindle, leading Batman producers to bring in the disfigured character after all.
They hoped to cast Clint Eastwood in the role, who was fresh off his run in the Dollars Trilogy and would bring a much-needed boost to the series. According to Martin Grams, a pop culture expert, Clint Eastwood taking the role of Two-Face was “almost a certainty.”
Harvey Dent, Two-Face, bearing the legendary Clint Eastwood scowl? It’s too perfect for words. Sadly, however, the series was canceled before that incredible idea could come to fruition.
Hilariously, that wasn’t the only time Clint Eastwood was slated for a role in a Batman production. In the early 2000s, the Man with No Name was eyed for the role of Bruce Wayne himself. But the director refused to create an at least relatively family-friendly film, causing yet another Clint Eastwood/Batman project to fall through.